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Purnachandra Rao @Chandoo


All I wanted to Speak about CAT

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Expectations came crashing down, thoughts of wrong bubbles shaded passed by - well, so many other things happened. The first reactions were, of course, its useless for me to take it up again. Had already lost so much money having applied to NITIE, MDI etc in the same year. Anyway I had my campus placement secure, though I had lost out in the seventh semester marks, after having topped the University in the sixth semester.

I couldn't get over the entire thing so easily. This was soon followed by a mediocre IIFT entrance (Mumbai again) and a mediocre XAT (some 85 percentile again). Still the thought of the coveted schools wasn't leaving me. But I had to forego it for sometime at least. Finished my engineering, and was awaiting the joining letter from my company. In the meanwhile I applied to several other companies (maybe to prove myself to me) - companies vied by several others. The joining letter hadnt arrived, and I had some other personal issues on my head. Thoughts of CAT 2005 floated by, and I grabbed hold of them. I had to leave Goa, and opt for a better test series, and of course work harder. With some news of my posting being at Bangalore, I left for the city in the end of July 2005. I signed up for the TIME test series, and started taking them up eagerly. At the same time I also sat for some company tests/ interviews. September 2 2005 - I come to know that I have made it to one of the best MNCs in the world, and my joy knew no bounds . Eventually I joined it on September 19 2005. During this period the mock cat series was on, but my scores were diminishing badly. Only once or twice could I get the score to a 95 percentile or a 96 percentile. To make up for my confidence, I enrolled at Career Avenues and interacted with Amit Saboo - who gave me some amount of confidence in the entire thing. I took up his mock cats too, in which I would at least score better than what I did at the TIME mock cats. I took up some of the old CAT papers and managed to solve quite a few. I tried to understand some of the mistakes I had made in CAT 2004 - but probably they are too many to enlist. I made sure somehow that I did not burn out myself with mock cats as I had done in 2004. I somehow got a broader horizon to CAT by having interacted with a lot of people - grasped it more as a skill gauging test, rather than a flat 3 section paper and so on.

At the same time I made some very close lifetime friends through PG, who took the mock cats with me - nicked as akhil_agrawal, bhandari, nitin_jain etc on PG. We shared thoughts, exchanged loads of views, took mock cats together etc. Besides these of course I made tons of other friends on PG. Enjoyed at some PG meets in Bangalore - finally met Psychodementia and some other known Pgites like Orca (was in my company itself), bingo (one of the first timers on PG) and many many others - most of who might be absconding from the scene now. A simple evaluation would tell me that I was strong on my HR skills, and I needed an MBA to get on into that field. It was the only thing which would get me there. And well - no compromises on the institutes - this being my last education - only a college in the top ten wud suffice . Though, somehow with the hectic training etc at my company I was kinda all lost. I decided to give a couple of entrances, but apply to not more than one college in each. Thru CAT it was only the IIMs - probably as I wasn't at all confident, and gauging myself from the mock scores, I could see that nothing was possible for me this time. But I simply couldn't resist taking the exams.

CAT 2005- North Bangalore, Vivekananda College. I stayed overnite at a friends place the day before and it was quite a normal day, with absolutely no stress from my side. And why should there be - I had nothing to lose if I didn't make it. Probably the attitude was lacking this time though. The morning of CAT - the normal crowd. My friend departed just before the exam - and I sat there, expecting the worst to happen - well, its CAT - and there are bound to be surprises . The paper had even more reduced questions, 90 this time, with continued differential marking, though this time more structured. My method of solving was simple - the same - Verbal/DI/Quant - 40 min each. Whizzed through Verbal, and landed up at DI - the usual nervousness. This was one section I could neva get even with - and well, the nervousness existed in some small amount coz I had neva managed to practice enough for this section - had always got bored during my entire preparation cycle. Solved only 13 marks here and moved ahead to Quant - where I could solve at least some of the questions with ease. I had kept in mind this time that I only had to pick the sitters, and had practised well at it. Hence I could do it with some ease at least. Attempted only 65 marks on the whole. I knew it was very less the moment I counted it out.

Just a week later I came to know that I had made a very silly mistake in the lone 2-marker set I had solved in DI. That ends the story - I didn't need to look more at the result - the loss with that one set was mammoth. The tragedy was that of course, I had to get the bad news on yet another new year ;)

Overall percentile - 89.XX :(
Verbal - 93.XX Quant - 93.XX DI - 35.XX (holy cow !! )

Immediate thoughts - no more CAT for me. I would never be able to solve the kind of problems which came for DI. I was a loser at these puzzles - and would neva manage them inside the exam hall. Yes of course, given some good amount of time, maybe I could do it, but not there in the hall .

Yes, to provide some solace were the other entrances - IIFT, which was immediately after CAT that year - went good, but eventually a shocking reject - couldn't believe it, but I guess I was getting used to the bad luck. JMET banged right in my face - disqualified - not even a rank, XAT had the same mark left - some 85.XX percentile. And well, there was FMS too this time - with a cascaded reject effect What went really wrong was the TISS application - one real big tragedy in my life - my TISS application somehow never reached them - and got stuck due to some problem in the courier office :(. I came to know this only after the list for the students answering the exam was released, and my name was missing. I was devastated - the only exam left in the year also had had me bowled out - that too without taking it.

Eventually after the GD/PI some of my friends made it to some B-schools, and left from Bangalore with a promise from my side that I would make it the next year. I really don't know why I committed in that way - did I have any confidence left in me, when nature itself was turning against me and telling me a different tale? At this point of time, I really didn't know. I needed a lot of time to myself - and I made good use of it. I put to thinking as to whether I really needed an MBA - the answer was surprisingly a 'yes'. The roads to the HR sector branched through this field of education - it was either some correspondence course I had to do, or a residential MBA, and I would have anytime have preferred the latter. 2006 was a turning point in my maturity and my thinking levels. I put in a lot of hard work at the work place, and spent the remaining time mulling over the entire thing and also reading a lot of books. Did loads of research in the HR field too. The road ahead appeared tough, but it was definitely my last shot - couldn't take it once more, as probably I was giving a lot of my personal self and resources to it. I decided to give it all I have this time.

I was hell bent on making the preparation more structured this time. Mocks - yes - but not without proper analysis. I introspected myself well, and saw that I was an average CAT taker, who could make it to an average 97 to 98 range - but on a high scale could just peak if the score required was less. (People in this case always pray for a difficult CAT paper). I can say that in 2006 I must have spent around 65 percent of time at devising strategies, and 35 percent for concepts . If I enlist whatever preparation I did in the latter half of 2006 - it would probably lag on for a few more thousands of words - so lets keep it minumum. I enrolled for both TIME and CL mock test series. I used to take the TIME tests on Sunday mornings and CL tests on Sunday afternoons (read as useless - in fact the quality of the mocks deteriorated and so did my performance). Besides these I would take up the CAV mocks posted on PG too. I started giving more time to preparations and lesser to the office work.

Read a huge lot of stuff from the net/PG/other areas on tackling the entrances. I had it entrenched in my mind that the concepts are best wrapped up fast and all problems of similar kinds which had to be broomed. . There were two main things I did. From August, I solved all the old original CAT papers from 1996 till 2005. I knew that the problems coming in the mocks had a style picked up from old CAT papers, and I was right. Besides I noticed something strange and advantageous - the questions in the CAT papers were repeated too - believe it or not, several quant questions had been repeated, some styles of verbal questions, and some DI types. This would be great as the questions could be repeated now too . The second thing I did was keeping a notebook to note something I called 'Out of the box fundae/problems'. These were fundae that one would hardly find in the basic concepts books, and in normal problems. You can find some of them floating on PG now, but previously they were hardly present. Some problems too, which had fundae which cyclically repeated throughout mock tests and entrance exams. I found this extremely advantageous in the mocks.

Though I saw that my scores did not improve in the mocks - in fact, they worsened. I would score in the CL mocks, and not do so in the TIME mocks. I would score the best in the CAV mocks, which I felt were really designed well. Then I did something drastic - I stopped seeing my TIME and CL mock scores. I did this for two months upto CAT. Believe me, I just used to answer the test, come home, solve the unsolved problems - that's it. I made a 'repeated mistakes' doc separately - which I would keep seeing after October. The only mock scores I would check were those of CL FLT's and the CAV mocks that I took at home. These were my only morale boosters.

However much one is prepared, the CAT surprise throws him off guard. This is something well heard of. As usual there were rumours and half truths on PG on how CAT would be this time. 2.5 hours - of course that was the in-thing new for 2006. But anything else was unknown. I had decided there would be no surprise in terms of paper pattern that could throw me off-guard - and well - definitely the mock tests were helpful in it (in fact TIME covered almost all patterns possible). Besides this, I myself made a 'countdown' doc in which I prepared my final strategy - as to how I would answer CAT 2006. This strategy was devised by having put all the initial 8 to 10 mock cats of the season to severe experimentation in terms of order of sections, break up time etc. This would be what I was most comfy with. Besides this there was a supplement in the doc that made the adjustments for all kinds of patterns - starting from 75 questions, 25 per section to 200 plus questions (which was also predicted by TIME, Munira L etc). All such things boosted my confidence - inspite of low or unseen scores in mocks etc. Besides all this, I would continue solving home tests, and new problems. The struggle continued till Nov 17th.



MDI Gurgaon
(Batch of 2009)

MBA Entrance Examinations, Determination and ME... :)
Disclaimer: All characters/ incidences below are purely real - and any attempt of associating the stuff with fictional mumbo-jumbo will NOT be tolerated. ;).

Acknowledgements: Chandoo's first article. (I always dreamt of writing one just like that - some day :))

Warning: This article is meant for fun-reading, inspiration - and may be of some help only to the average percentilers at CAT and other entrances. If the top scorers and absolutely confident 100 percentilers at CAT think that they need better gyaan, they better look elsewhere

Amidst the myriad questions of 'Why MBA', 'Long-term goals', 'Short-term goals' etc etc - was me - somewhere in July or August 2003 - when we began with Semester 5 in my engineering college. Probably that was the semester, which kicks off Computer Science on the whole - and here I was - dreaming of some other things - like how was my life proceeding, and whether I was evaluating myself properly. Programming certainly wasn't the thing I would be happy doing for the rest of my life . I believed more in the Howard Roark philosophy - When I have around 50 more years to live, I feel I should be spending them in the way I like - and work in the field I am best at.

Probably it was the Economics and Management subject in Sem 5, which set me thinking in some direction about the same. The ideas inspired me - and I could associate with the subject better - maybe also because the teaching of the faculty rocked. A post-graduation in the field of Management - an MBA, had heard about it long back - even before I had joined my engineering college. Was it the real push for a great career? Was it the thing I would need to build myself to better prospects? I needed to find out. Got some magazines - old IMS magazines (Advancedge) - read more. Inspiring stories, great institutes - yes - maybe I had to get there. This is probably what is real education - real learning.

The Common Admission Test - had heard about this before - but never knew that I would be taking it at any stage in life. I enrolled for the IMS Correspondence package at Goa, and they sent me some average kinda material. One of the days in June 2004 I was sitting listening to an inspiring lecture from a student who had made it to IIML that year - a senior Goan. At the end of the lecture, he had one piece of advice - use this site - its really very helpful. I rubbed my eyes and for a second couldn't understand what he wrote - whatever did that name mean in the world of MBA entrance examinations. Nevertheless I took it down on my book and thought I would sign in right away. Pagalguy.com. :)

From then on began a roller coaster ride of studying DI, Verbal and Quant. CAT had leaked just the year before and had come out in a terrible form at the time of the re-test - with a terribly tough Quant section. Hence of course the normal rigmarole which I wasn't aware of, at that stage at least - the coaching classes start putting up mock tests which have difficult Quant sections only. At that time however, IMS was the only institute I was aware of - being the only one in Goa. The additional info would come from PG - for some days I failed to understand why were threads entitled AIMCAT 0503, 0504 etc etc. It really took me some time to know that these were mock cat names - or rather numbers J. Goa still had to open out in terms of coaching classes and the prepratory environment for MBA preparations.

Sectional tests, Mock tests - I was on a spree - I wasn't scoring great - but well kya mazaa aa raha tha competition - nice fun. Got some TIME mocks, CL mocks xeroxed from my cousin who had taken the test series in Pune. They seemed tougher than the IMS Simcats (except for the godly IMS DI :D). I must have taken around 60 to 70 mocks in those 4 months or so - in the end it was almost every day - with the hope that the max score dwells on D Day. I made many friends in PG - some high-edged mock cat'ers, who would beat the hell out of the others in the percentiles. I would hardly be studying the college stuff at that time - the seventh semester passed away so fast that I hardly came to know. I had only one thought - CAT. Probably that's why what awaited me on that day took its share of fun - and I had my share of misery.

CAT 2004 - Dadar, Mumbai. Goa had been removed as a CAT center that year itself (to my bad luck) - so the trip to Mumbai was necessary. Kept cool on the previous day while revising only very important stuff. What was landlocked in my mind was how I had to answer the paper, my 'strategy', my scoring sections etc. Yes - childish stuff. November 21 2004. IES School at Dadar was crowded (had already been there the previous day). Once I was seated at my place I was simply praying was a 3 section paper like CAT 2003. What came was a 3 section paper - but with a blast of surprises - differential marking for the first time, reduced no of questions (to 123), and well, loads of surprises inside the paper too. What I did in the next 2 hours involved more of praying and less of confident problem solving - yes - I wasn't confident - of each and every question. Even in Verbal, which had been my strongest section. I tackled the markers, the 1 markers and then the 2 markers - in that order. My order was supposed to be verbal/DI/Quant - 40 min for each. I must have taken 45 min for Verbal, then came to DI (my weakest section) and tried to go in for the 2 markers (read as overconfidence ). Unfortunately I attacked that question which was wrong - the infamous hockey set problem of CAT 2004 . Checked it out for some time, cudnt make any sense out of it, and then moved to the one markers - no more himmat left for the two markers. Managed to solve some of the one-marker sets and then moved to Quant - tried to blast this section, but apparently I ended up 'not' doing it. This section had loads of scoring problems, which I managed to oversee . The two markers were a piece of cake, but in my spree I didn't even notice it. Managed an attempt of some 75 marks in the paper and came out quite shaky.

The wait till the New Year was long and unbearable - and the result - one of the biggest shocks of my life.

Overall percentile - 85.XX :(
DI - 84.XX Quant 83.XX Verbal - 77.XX


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(Batch of 2009)

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This post is kind of inspired by ORCA's; just above. Reading his story I recalled my CAT days. Here how it all unfolded: Don't remember a few dates though

Well 1st attempt at CAT in 2004, scored 99.65%ile ..... never expected it to be that good, guess the unusual DI paper made my day like it spoiled for many. And luckily for me I even had the good balance in my sectional scores to get all 6 calls, add to it the MDI, SPJAIN, NITIE, IITB and XLRI calls. Well FMS booted me in the entrance exam itself.

Decided not to be picky for interviews as I wasn't for applying either and to go for as many interviews as possible. Finally managed to attend all of them except IITB. Yeah traveling from Kolkata to Mumbai twice for SPJAIN and NITIE and then once to Jamshedpur took its toll on my dad's bank account, but it taught me few important lessons for the rest of the interviews too.??:

The MDI interview kick started the process, thankfully it was in Kolkata only. However the final results were declared on the notice board of the institute and even before my second interview with SPJAIN !!! PG came to my rescue at that time, the MDI-tes in PG were literally running up and down collecting registration numbers from the posts and then posting the results. Thanks a lot to them, I still remember the refreshing button in browser was clicked some thousand times that day. Few tense hours on my side and result a REJECT :neutral:. Well it isn't the best start I was looking for there were lot more to go, so dint feel that bad. What I din't know at that time is the wait for me would be longer than I expected.

Second SPJAIN, pathetic interview, booted in the 1st round itself. some 8000 bucks worth air tickets went down the drain

Third XLRI, well I now feel the interviewers were willing to take me, I just din't give them enough reasons to do so. I was extremely silent and the interview went no where. Still had some hopes in mind .....

4th IIMK (as far as I remember 5th March). Dont know what happened to me that day, just before leaving for IIMC campus for the IIMK intvw, logged into PG and came to know some non-confirmed link was out for XLRI results. Din't want to see but couldn't resist, went to the site and got a REJECT. Yeah still somewhere hopes were alive, for once I was praying that it shudn't be the right link, but news of admits had started pouring in...... and I wasn't even waitlisted :(. Well life moves on and went to the IIMK intvw with some desperation having creeped in already. 3 consecutive rejects so far, the world is not all the same as it was 2 months back when the intvw calls started coming.
The IIMK invw for me is a story in itself which I remember to have posted somewhere else. To sum it up I dint feel I aced it.:neutral:

5th NITIE (7th March) Some 8/9000 bucks once again for an intvw which lasted 7 mins. They never told me it was a reject but I learnt from the student volunteers that every1 in my panel had atleast 20 min intvw. The truth was too hard to accept for me at that stage, came back with lot of self doubts and a confidence level which urged me to start preparing for CAT 2005........ even with 5 interviews left to go.

6th IIMC (14/15th March) In the meantime XLRI formal results were out and my prayers were unanswered this time, it was the same link. I wasnt in the mental condition to attend rest of the intvws even. Thanks to a few friends who brought me back to my senses and I finally decided to give it a last try. And this time I was praying that no more results should come out before it all ends. Well IIMC (PGDM and PGDCM): my best GD ever and the coolest intvw ever. However not always a peaceful intvw brings peace to the mind.

7th IIMA (20th March) Nothing much to mention other than it was long and I did well. Still did a small goof up and therefore cudnt take any guess on the result.??:

8th IIML (21st March) Having attended IIMA previous day, somehow I was boiling with confidence, was totally prepared to handle it. However as it's said there is a very thin line between supreme self confidence and arrogance. Unfortunately in the last part of the intvw I was the 2nd. Very odinary GD for me and the intvw went well until they decided to put some pressure on me and I became too bold and started answering some of the questions with abrupt one liners.

9th IIMI (30/31 March) In the meantime NITIE results were out and I wasnt surprised not to be selected. Din't feel that bad though. Now the intvw: One of my worst days. Was a total stress/steam rolling intv. Was asked all kinds of questions under then sun. Never let my guards down but still felt exposed . Had a rapid fire round too, scored some 2/12 in that. And the panel decided to enjoy my situation for 30 mins before they let me go :grab:. Nothing against the panel but I felt better once again to be in the open air of IIMC . Had it been my choice I would have walked out in 10 mins. Was taunted, ridiculed and pinched again and again and in the end I was left wondering what went wrong. Well at that time I din't know that not everything went wrong:

10th and last IIMB (6th March). the last day of my intvw, the last day of intvw for B across India, the last day for any IIM to conduct intvw and the 1st day the IIM results came out. But for now let's keep the results out of the picture since they came out arnd 10/11am and I was waiting for my intvw at that time with my cell switched off. Well the GD just had too many good people. Tried my best, result was so-so. Knew the intvw would be the deciding factor. was 3rd for the intvw. Had THE best intvw of all, answered each and every question, be it from current affairs, acads or extracurrics. However the funniest part happened later. Came out of the room to find the next guy talking over phone and already rejoicing. Someone told me he got a convert from IIMA, and he knew it even before going for the B intvw. Only one thing came to my mind at that time JEALOUSY !!!!! Found out that IIMA results were out and I was just waiting to get back home.

On my way back home one frnd called me up to inform IIMK results were out too and he had an IIMA call and IIMK waitlist. I was eager and scared at the same time, wanted to be in his shoes for once:satisfie: Another friend calls up to inform she has a reject both from IIMA and IIMK. (She finally made it to IIMC which was her 1st choice)

Came back and decided to check IIMK 1st. The result : REJECT !!!!! Perhaps I got too used of the term to have it any effect on me or having a fantastic IIMB intvw i was banking on it. Whatever it was I had 5 consecutive rejects and was well on way to create a record of maximum rejects

Next the big thing for me: IIMA. Was literally putting the numbers in with trembling fingers. After pressing enter I was only looking for one word "Not", yeah was that negative after all this. Funnily the page neither had the word "Congratulations" nor "Sorry". Was confused and started reading the entire paragraph which read something like "You have been selected..... ". Was left dumbfounded !!!! Read it over and over again to find out the mistake in my understanding
Yeah at last a convert and that too from my 1st choice, something that at times I felt was not achievable for me. Still I was scared and the worries finally ended when I got the letter few weeks later.

The rest of calls, well IIMA opened the gates for me and I converted IIMC (PGDCM), IIMI (!!!!! yeah even after that) and IIML (waitlist which finally got converted).

Rejected by IIMK and IIMB (Yeah dint expect this !!!)

Hence ended my CAT journey in a sweet note which taught me a lot and has changed atleast one thing in me, I am a super optimist now, I have seen lows and survived through that, something that gives me inner strength to withstand initial setbacks and be confident to start from the scratch again.


This thread does motivate ppl. The problem begins when junta begins to believe the "This guy cracked CAT after 3 yrs of trying and lived happily ever after" story though this was never the intention of the thread starter.

For every chandoo or anupam who *did it* after 2-3 tries there are atleast 500 ramus who couldnt do it even in 5 tries. I personally know of ppl who gave it all for CAT, flunked on D-day and dont have any kind words for the IIMs ever since ;)

On that note let me tell you how my CAT exp left me with a fantastic story to tell for the rest of my life ;)

April 11, 2006

Slept at around 11 PM expecting the IIM results to be out anytime. Had a NITIE convert by then but had time only till April 14th to pay up the confirmation fee. With 5 calls I thought I could take the liberty of paying up only on 14th if the need arises (50k was at stake), booked myself a flight to Mumbai for the 13th.

Awakened by a call at 12:30, C results were out. Ask my friend to check up mine, dinged. Not even a waitlist. There go my ABC hopes (the B panel had ripped me apart, wasnt counting on that one). Back to sleep

April 12, 2006

Walk into office at 9:30 AM. Around 10-10:30 B results are out, I am out as expected. Around 12 the L results out, I am WL#366 and I say to helL with it I could slowly sense my mood changing now !! I had a good GD/PI at L, K was rather bad and I was expecting a kick from K. "Do I really need to fly to Mumbai 2moro ??" In the meanwhile a couple of frends call me to console me on my BCL debacle, I just laugh it off.

Another hr later K results out, not even a waitlist. Taking that flight to Mumbai was looking reality now.

Time for lunch. Have a lonely lunch, wasnt really in the mood to talk to anyone.

Around 2:30 we get news that the Kannada movie idol Dr Raj was dead. 10 mins later it hits me, Dr RAJ is dead !! Riots will start in the sity soon, section 144, curfew and what not !! Will I be able to even get out on the streets tomorrow leave alone catching the flight to Mumbai ?? Decide to talk to the NITIE folks about this. Call them up and explain my situation, the folks were patient and said fax ur DD ASAP, we'll try holding the seat for you till Monday if you cant make tomorrows flight. *ahem* catch is that the DD is at my residence and stone pelting had already started in the city. After 4-5 calls to frends I somehow manage to fix up an alternative to fax the DD today but decide what the hell, lemme wait till I results some out. Then I remember that I dont have the printout for the flight tickets. My comp at office wasnt getting through to the IA site so I run to the travel desk, they have access only to a dot matrix printer Get the printout and begin the long wait for I results.

In the meanwhile everyone passing by my cubicle stops to ask me which IIM I am off to, somehow manage to keep those pests away and yet look normal At around 6 my boss calls me in for a meeting, had to commit to whether I wanted to stay or quit, hikes were round the corner you see Ask him to give me time till EOD, as if I needed more dependencies at this point of time.

Start typing out a detailed email to the NITIE admissions and as I am about to hit *send* I get the new ki I results are out *darn* my system needs a reboot Take up my cubicle mate's system and key in my details, finally see a convert. So I aint gonna go to Mumbai after all, go out and smoke my first sutta in more than a year.

All set for Indore now (its another matter that I finally ended up at K), decide to call it a day. Go down to the reception and try to book a cab, no cabs available, have to stay at office or walk, chose the latter. Roads were deserted and pieces of glass lay strewn all over. I usually cut a Km by going through Forum mall but the damn thing was closed as expected. I decide to use my *techie* tag to convince the security guys to let me through but all I get in return are some choice kannada gaalis. Take the longer route, as I am walking a police jeep stops and starts abusing me in a combination of kannada + english + hindi. Tell them my situation and the officer tells me - "you have 5 mins to get out of sight else I'll shove this lathi up your a$$". Finally reach home, have a nice hearty laugh about this entire thing. Pity that I could hardly get to eat over the next 2 days because of the curfew. It kinda topped off a perfect weekend

The next time someone gives me gyaan on stress management, I'll knee him in his groin.

My post on All I wanted after resisting for more than an year!

I call this thread as CAT jihadi thread as I somehow feel that this thread unneccesarily hypes up the CAT and has lost its main purpose. personal opinion though! But couldn't resist on hearing words like holy and sacrosanct

The result is : CAT aspirants tend to forget the thin line of difference between passion and hyped obsession. :)

Months after months are spent, personal lives are put in danger, relationships are kept on gas, job productivity is made to suffer: Just to study for one hyped exam in which all that matters is how you performed in those 120 mins. ( Now 150 minutes). The journey towards CAT becomes a drudgery ,rather than being an enjoyable picnic of like-minded puys.
So much of mental and physical energy is spent , and if you don't score then the end result is frustration,depression and so on...

And the cycle continues in the next year just to satisfy your egos, just to tame CAT because a stupid classmate of yours tamed it and to achieve Moksha

What people tend to forget is MBA entrance starts with CAT and NOT ends with CAT!

I am curious about the post-CAT lives of the demi-Gods of this thread.
How did they fare in MBA academics, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and post-MBA jobs?
Just want to check whether they could put in so much of energy in post-CAT activities also or was CAT only one-off type act?

That's all I wanted to speak about CAT

Sorry anandv I disagree with u here.If u call the expression of joy at achieving something very close to one's aspirations...overhyped...i wud never ever agree to that.
Remember PG is a place for aspirants and not a place to dissect the 'Post CAT' achievements of some intellectual bimbo.
90% of the people who login here are not all go-getters.They r one of those aspirants who put everything on hold for a considerable amount of time.That thing which u called 'drudgery' in an aspirant's words will be 'sacrifice'.But u won't understand that for u belong to some elite club of 99 percentilers who had cracked all the mocks left-right and centre.Right?
It's very easy to be judgemental sitting cosily in the corridors of a place which u so well deserved.But everyone's story is not as happily ended as was urs.
And if this is all u wanted to speak about CAT,You have got it all wrong.
Now 'groan' at me for maligning the sanctity of this thread.
I would have never posted here but your post came after two brilliant posts and could not help it.Sorry.

first year in my graduation frm biomedical science and i was confused to go fr mba or msc second yr. i decieded to go in fr mba but was still confused wether to go fr it straight after y bsc or aftr msc. finally i decieded to wait no longr but to go on fr cat straight after bsc. in the mean time i had been univ topper in first and univ scond rank holder in second year. me also had a lot of xtra curricular cert under my belt till that time
so after finally having decieded i bought study material frm daryaganj before leaving off to pune fr a summer fellowship on HIV/AIDS another precious crtificate on the cards
in the lab i used to set up experiments find a place to hide somewhere and study fr cat u know its a sin to say mba in sci labs
coming back to delhi joined sim cat frm ims simply because it was cheap at just 1500 bucks so thought it would be joined by a lot of people and i would have a fair idea where i stand with the pc in these tests, was a consitent performer in the 88-94 pc slot
then came the big day and cat06 and wow the paper was actually gud english was diffi (my strong point) and quant easy (my weak point beng a non engineer)
got 98.66 pc bt a sole call frm iim l :(
nevermind i joined time fr gd pi courses which cost me some 950 bucks see again a gud management of money
was always gud at speaking ,had knowledge of politics world affairs and my acads and also had a hefty file full of certificates to support my cause
then had all the quota fiasco to delay the result but i can never forget 27th april 4:50 pm a day after my exams were over. iiml website said candidates selected fr pgp i opened the link ad put my reg no along with date of birth

cong u have been selected were the word that apeared i shouted at the loudest of my voices and started coughing voilently in excitement and happiness and had to close my mouse tightly so that i may nt vomit out my lunch my other was standing with me and gave me the tightest hug
today i am packing my bags and would be of to luck in a few days
fnds this is my story of cat 06 hope to listen some similar stuff frm ur side


My post on All I wanted after resisting for more than an year!

I call this thread as CAT jihadi thread as I somehow feel that this thread unneccesarily hypes up the CAT and has lost its main purpose. personal opinion though! But couldn't resist on hearing words like holy and sacrosanct

The result is : CAT aspirants tend to forget the thin line of difference between passion and hyped obsession. :)

Months after months are spent, personal lives are put in danger, relationships are kept on gas, job productivity is made to suffer: Just to study for one hyped exam in which all that matters is how you performed in those 120 mins. ( Now 150 minutes). The journey towards CAT becomes a drudgery ,rather than being an enjoyable picnic of like-minded puys.
So much of mental and physical energy is spent , and if you don't score then the end result is frustration,depression and so on...

And the cycle continues in the next year just to satisfy your egos, just to tame CAT because a stupid classmate of yours tamed it and to achieve Moksha

What people tend to forget is MBA entrance starts with CAT and NOT ends with CAT!

I am curious about the post-CAT lives of the demi-Gods of this thread.
How did they fare in MBA academics, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and post-MBA jobs?
Just want to check whether they could put in so much of energy in post-CAT activities also or was CAT only one-off type act?

CAT season should be enjoyed. :razz:
CAT is yet another exam.

That's all I wanted to speak about CAT

The CAT(or Common Admission Test ) is a 2 or 2:30 hours exam that is conducted in November and is despised by Indian youth for its cunning ability to deceive them and destroy a large majority of them.

It has been associated with Indians for 46 years. A skilled predator, the CAT is known to hunt over 200,000 individuals for food. The CAT is boring and can be tamed to obey commands by extra-IQ people.

It was purposely designed to keep the youth busy in solving mundane problems so that they can't concentrate on more important issues. And the stage remains empty for Golden Oldies to remain on top despite their questionable abilities and age.

In short, CAT sucks and sucks big time. Do not prepare for it. The low IQ ones cannot crack it and high IQ ones will anyways crack it barring a few exceptions. If you want to fight the battle of odds where the odds are stacked against you 1:90, its your choice, but keep in mind that playing an already lost match is only duffers' idea of fun.


PS - Dont Ban this ID. Rather Improve your testing procedures and identify the weaknesses in your support staff. That ID Hel(L)boy is still not working and this one working fine.. Just check your logs. I tried to log in twice at 11:15. If you cant resolve the issue let this one stay and banish that.

For the past 2 years,CAT is probably one word I have used more than anything else.In the process,I might have bored a lot of people around me:).
My CAT journey started in December 2004 when I enrolled for the IMS classroom session.And by the time the SIMCATs started in August,I knew that I was well prepared to take the big challenge.The SIMCAT ranks seemed to prove that with me getting well over 99 percentile on a regular basis.Then came the CAT 2005 debacle,with me getting an overall score of 97.25 and a below average 84 in verbal.No calls from the IIMs as expected,no calls from MDI and other institutes taking the CAT score too.The only good aspect about the MBA season last year were the calls I got from NMIMS and FMS.I did manage to convert NM but missed FMS.I had also got a job offer from TCS Ltd.
At this juncture I decided to give NMIMS a skip and go for CAT again.Something within me told me that the CAT debacle was just an off day.I took heart from my performances in the SIMCATs and decided to start afresh.
The bigger gamble I took was to not join TCS.I joined a small and rather unknown company called Systech Solutions in Chennai for a salary much lower than what TCS had to offer.But since the idea was not to carve a niche in the IT sector,I felt it was well worth the risk.The TIME AIMCATs were great for me,with most of my scores in excess of 99%.I really was able to show consistency in my performance and I knew it was just a matter of keeping my cool on November 19th.A big morale booster came with my selection into the PG Dream Team.I cannot quite express in words the contribution of PG towards my performances in CAT and other exams thanks to its Excellent peer group,great spirit and extra-ordinary levels of competition.
Come November 19th,I did get my act together this time with an overall score of 99.68% and good sectional splits.And the 6 IIM calls came,much to my excitement but I knew the bigger job was yet to come.
Getting back to the CAT exam,the 2 year experience taught me a lot more than math and English skills.I belive this is one exam that tests many characters of the individual most important of which is performance under pressure.So,one may rock the mock cats,but performing when it really matters is the biggest test.Something I learnt the hard way in 2005.
All in all,its been a pleasurable experience with CAT and something I will treasure for a long time.

(continued from previous thread)

Year 2006, Frustration grows. Still at HP. Joined TIME test series again. Much more focused this time. Relied on the strategy of postmortem of mock cats. For quant, started preparing a list of all new kind of questions i encountered in any of the mocks. Mock cats scores this year still in range of 84 to 99 percentiles. Took a week break from the work just before CAT.

..........The C-Day..............
Nervous like hell. Had really put in lot of efforts this time and dint want it to go all in vain in just 2 and half hours. Drank glasses of water just before the exam to cool myself. Paper starts. I started with Verbal (had followed the strategy of giving 40 minutes to it, and 55 minutes each to DI and Quant all through mocks). Since the going was tough, gave full 50 minutes and attempted almost all. DI seemed walk through and so looked Quant untill disaster struck. (It all seems so funny now :P) Never ever in my life i had such an urge to go out and have a pee. I in fact checked out the possibility of it during the CAT paper but they didnt allow me to go. Last 15 minutes were unbearable, left the paper with my heads down, was trembling, almost tears in my eyes. 15 minutes in a CAT paper are too much to be wasted, was going to realize it later. After the paper i rushed out for the nearest loo only to find a long queue there. Next to it was ladies toilet without any queue, didnt even had a second thought. Just rushed in with my heads down. I could feel many surprised eyes staring at me. I was least bothered. Had the relief of my life in next minute. (Ok, i know i am getting too much in details)

..... forward to January 2nd, 2007.....

CAT 2006: 99.46 (DI: 97.04, VA: 99.96, QA: 90.70)
The scores looked pretty descent, with doubts over the quant score. IIMA comes out with the calls. Rejected. C Rejected. B Rejected. L Rejected. Quant score had me in big time. Finally Indore gives me a call (i still remember the sigh of relief i had). K Rejected (Couldn't believe). Does not end here. XAT scores: 99.67 (DI: 99+, VA:87+, QA:98+) but no call from XLRI either. To top it all when MDI declared its GD PI call list, my name didn't figure even there. Though after repeated phone calls and mail exchange they finally gave me a call. And in JMET at rank 429 calls from IIT B and D would have been a miracle only.

..... Time for final results.....
SPJAIN: WL 4 (finally converted)
Few days back i booked a railways ticket to my home town: WL4
And after painfully agonizing wait IIMs came out with their results.
I remember i was literally hitting F5 every second on the IIM result page the day it was out. And probably i was the first one to see the result as well. (Opened the result thread at PG ;). Was trembling while keying in my registration number, hit the RESULT button.

Name : VISHAL KUMAR JALAN Registration No. : ******
You have been selected for admission to PGP (2007-2009) of IIM Indore.
And there it was. A mix of shock, excitement and dont know what. I just punched my fist in the air and everything after that was a blur. Was unable to think or speak anything. I had made it to the one of the most coveted institute of India. My drIIM had come true!!!!!!! Now joining the institute with a couple of batchmates, yet again :)

(Breaking the post in 2 threads for easy reading)

It was the summers of 2004, final year of college, when appearing for CAT crossed my mind for the first time. Joined TIME classes along with a dozen of batch mates.:) . CAT preparation now had been restricted to mock cats, Sunday ke Sunday. While i was getting unimaginable success at movie making (nomination in Berlin short film festival) , the mock cats scores kept dropping.

CAT 2004: 87 percentile (dont remember the subject wise break up, never bothered to)

Come 2005, Joined HP along with dozen of batch mates. Also joined CL for test series. Mock scores were again like previous year, varying from 80 to 98 percentiles. Never ever bothered to look back into the mock papers once i gave them (later i realize it cost me a year).

Stopped attending classes within a month, had suddenly found a new interest - "Movie Making"

CAT 2005: 94 percentile (dont remeber the subject wise break up, yet again)

Continued onto next thread ...

Fight I say. Down and out, you never are!

7) Strategy: devise whatever you want. It is you and it has to be customized for you. Let me tell you what I did. After two CATS, and the embarrassment and ignominy I had to try something new and more in line with what I am. I went for all MOCK as well as CAT without any strategy. Yes, I went in, saw the instructions devised my strategy or tactic then and there and order of sections. Kept it simple. My professor in Engineering Col. Nigam said KISS= Keep it simple stupid!. And that is what I did.

yeah , all thru out my prep - mocks and all - I stuck to this - I dint care how many sections came - the time was equally split among them ....

Logic - there will be some ppl who will be outliers/experts in every section who will crack tht section and push the cutoff up. And giving equal time for every section helped me max my chances of clearing cutoff .... infact in final CAT , I was so fast in math tht I cud solve all 25 qns in 40 mins flat. That really saved my skin in VA - 60 mins - 25 qns and yet , only 25 marks .... but then 25 marks , as it turned out was 95.33 %ile , to my gr8 delight:satisfie: ... and tht Gave me My C call :)
Check my blog- http://strat.in and http://trait.in

"Fight" I say. Down and out, you never are!

CAT 2004 OA 90.12 DI/DS 85.75 MT 91.97 ENG 76.44
CAT 2005 OA 93.38
CAT 2006 98.99 DI/DS 98.25 MT 95.27 ENG 97.70

Joining IIM -K :
Note :I am not saying that what all i have written - works, neither have i have cracked CAT. But surely you can give these points a little thought ;-)

My 2 cents of wisdom for all those attempting CAT
1)It does not matter how you have fared in the previous exams (mock CATS and real CATS). What matters is how you perform on that day. Its like tendulkar having scored more runs than the whole of Bangladesh team, but India lost to Bangladesh in the World Cup 2007.
2)No matter how hard you work in the office or study in the college. 2 hrs a day, one in the morning and one in the evening for 4 months is more than enough for giving CAT. And out of this one hr; 45 min should be effective minutes of studying. That will be enough! Anything more than that except the Sunday mock cats will be detrimental :-)
3)Be yourselves. 50% of the competition is killed the day before the CAT. 50% of the remaining is killed on the day, just before the exam starts. The remaining 25% fight it out, and 50% of these are out after 1 hr. that leaves only 12.5% to fight it out for the remaining time. Which are 25,000 considering 2 lakh applicants. Now, around 4000 people get calls for GD/PI. It depends on you how you handle the things, and how far you are able to show what you are. Interesting isn't it? I am asking you to show in the exam what you are. And that is the most difficult thing to do.
If that does not make sense, then consider it this way - what is wrong in performing within your abilities. Let's show what you are and forget about the rest of the candidates. What is the problem in showing to the IIM's that this is what I am, and if you consider me worthy enough - pick me.
4)Luck- Yes its there. But why spend time thinking about things which are not under your control. Focus on things which you can control and work on them.
5)Don't go with any biases towards any section. If you find this difficult, then simply divide the time equally among all sections, and stick to the limits. Perform!
6)Pace your self. Two and a half hours is a long time. Believe me a normal person cannot have concentration for that long constantly. So pace yourself with the sections and your concentration levels. Do what you don't like first if possible! And know the points of time when you are loosing out on concentration for e.g. getting stuck in one question and time just flies by. You never know
7) Strategy: devise whatever you want. It is you and it has to be customized for you. Let me tell you what I did. After two CATS, and the embarrassment and ignominy I had to try something new and more in line with what I am. I went for all MOCK as well as CAT without any strategy. Yes, I went in, saw the instructions devised my strategy/tactic then and there and order of sections. Kept it simple. My professor in Engineering Col. X said KISS= Keep it simple stupid!. And that is what I did. I divided the time according to the sections and attempted the paper.
8 )Genius = Yes there are genius people on this earth. And let them be there. Forget about all people above 99.75%ile. Even if you make them write the paper right now, they will be up there. We are not fighting with them. What about the remaining people in 99.00 to 99.75%ile. I have seen them and there is nothing fantabulous about them. We need to fight it out in this range and the last half an hour of the exam is quintessential in being there.
9)Confidence = is the name of the game. Believe in yourselves of what you are, and fight. Whatever the arms and ammunitions you have, make prudent use of them.
10) Find a friend and team work is essential to maintain the motivation levels and give a different dimension to the whole process. Many a times mistakes come out when one views it from another angle. One more thing I would like to say is - you will learn more by talking with people who have experienced failure rather than those who have succeeded. One can either rise from a failure or just give up. Take a call!
11) Process. This is no sacrosanct process, and a lot of glitches in them. Its not that the best are selected, but then they convert them into the best products or so have I heard. Reasons of selection or rejection or pondering over them is like asking for water in Sahara desert. :-)
12) What is CAT? For the genius it's a MATHS, DI/DS, English match. For the not so fortunate people it has to be something else. It took me two years to realize that I could not crack CAT by improving the sectional skills. It had to be something else, for I would have cracked it in the past two attempts, where for two years I tried to improve my sectional skills. So what is CAT all about for me. It s a game of confidence, decision making ability, risk taking ability, pressure handling, concentration, patience, never say die attitude, perseverance, time management, intuition which comes through experience, and more importantly the desire to fight. This might seem strange at first instance, but no matter how many mock cats you write, I wrote around 200-250, my score remained the same from the first mock to the last one. I used to score in TIME mocks and PT mocks in the range of 90-95% with some scores going well below that range. But one should have the audacity to perform on that day. And on the day of CAT one should be able to integrate all the skills and know how to perform and come out with flying colours

A very very very special thanks to Pagalguy and Puys for the invaluable contribution it has made to my life. I have been a Puy since 2004 albeit by some other id :-)
P.S. One more thing, when I was frustrated, and feeling low, I always went on this sacred thread. And dream of writing on this thread one day... A hope i do reach there...


Now that I am entitled to post here.. ...Here I go.....:) ...(Bear wid me puys.....It's goinna be a lil long.....)....I am goinna talk abt the events, the various strategies and the outcome...all together over here....

This is an emotional moment for me.. .. So thought of giving you all a detailed account of my CAT journey....T'was my third attempt after all....

1st Attempt - CAT 03

Strategy followed for CAT, 03 - Maximise attempts with no special focus on accuracy....Thought 115 attempts with 85 correct and 30 wrong was good....but it was not to be....learnt it the hard way.....

CAT %ile - 96.5 ....;)...Was supposed to be best prepared for this one....

Calls - Nil (as expected) .....B probably dint have crazy short-listing criteria back then.. ...No offence meant....

2nd Attempt - CAT 05

Strategy followed for CAT, 05 - Had lost my speed....wasn't too accurate either....CAT had changed too....Had seen, scoring a 50 - 55 odd was good enough.....Worked like mad on my accuracy....and did improve on it....:satisfie: :satisfie: ...Followed the 5-3-2 approach for attempting (the numbers indicate the maximum marks of mistakes allowed in VA-DI-QA respectively....)....And surprisingly enough.....could stick to it.... ....Target attempts(marks) used to be 25-20-20 (in the same order.....)

CAT %ile - 99.06
VA - 99.xx
QA - 97.xx
DI - 83.xx ...:wow: :wow: ...Screwed up big time....

Calls - A lone K call
Rejects - A, B, C, L, I, MDI, NITIE, SP Jain....(Expecting to get a call from MDI, NITIE, SP Jain et all with a measly 83 in DI, huh...??... ...)

K GD/PI melodrama - (6th Feb, 06)

My lone call and I reached late for the intv process....:wow: :wow: ....Ran up the stairs of the CPP block (IIM B)...just to see the rest of the candidates walk in for the GD.....moi was held back.....Dreams shattered....:( ....(10:40 a.m.)

However, the panel was kind enuf to consider me in the afternoon slot....

time - 2:15 p.m.

GD/PI started

GD - Had a satisfactory GD....3-4 entries...made a couple of valid points...was well accepted by the group.....:)

PI - Gang-R***d .... How can u expect to be late for an IIM interview and get away with it....???... Was the last one to be interviewed....the interview process culminated at 6:45 p.m...:neutral: :neutral: ...Was exhausted, worn-out and broken....:( ....Had not had a grain of food thus far....dint feel like either.....:(

Converts - Nil (dint expect either)

3rd Attempt - CAT 06

Strategy followed for CAT, 06 - CAT, 05 followed closely with CAT, 04.....and one thing was getting increasingly clear.....that speed is not going to matter much..... ACCURACY will be the order of the day....Knew that scoring 50 odd will get me all 6 calls....Further refined my strategy to 3-2-1 (VA-DI-QA)....with attempts of 25-20-20 (marks)....

Further broke up my time slots -

  1. VA -
    1. 10 mins - (1 mark)
    2. 10 mins - (2 marks)

  2. QA -
    1. 15 mins - (1 mark)
    2. 25 mins - (2 marks)

  3. DI -
    1. 15 mins - (1 mark)
    2. 25 mins - (2 marks)

  4. RC -
    1. 10 mins - (1 mark)
    2. 20 mins - (2 marks)

  5. Extra time (miscellaneous - for all the remaining patch work)
    1. 20 mins
GOSH....!!!!....tired reading, huh...??.... ....

CAT 06, turned everything upside down....but must say, the strategising did help in keeping me on track....:)

CAT %ile - 99.13

VA - 98.98%ile
QA - 96.96 %ile
DI - 94.94 %ile (Dint get A because of this....:neutral: ...)

Calls - I, K, MDI, NITIE

Rejects A (Criteria not met) , B (Criteria..??...He he he..), C (Was DI probably), L (Still can't figure out), SP Jain....:wow: :wow: :wow: ....(Now this was tooo much...99.xx with decent acads and 33 months work-exp wasn't gud enuf for them.... ...)

Converts - I , K , MDI, NITIE.....Phinally got to use the smiley

My PG mates -

I must thank all my mates @ PG....they have been a guiding light all through my CAT preps....Have forged many a freindships over here.....Will always hold them close to my heart...:) ...and cherish them for times to come.....:) .....Thanks a tonne bhai logon....

I'll surely be available @ PG....for all of you, whenever you need me....Have to give back all that I have taken from this wonderful forum....:)

For IIM aspirants - following are the links to my I and K interviews

IIM I link - http://www.pagalguy.com/forum/cat-an...tml#post710784 (IIM Indore GD PI experiences 2007)
IIM K link - http://www.pagalguy.com/forum/cat-and-related-discussion/20942-iim-k-gdpi-experience-cat-5.html#post685017

One final word - Persistence pays....:)

ATB folks...

PS : - Got a lil tooo looong I know....but kya karoon....Got carried away a bit.....

My CAT journery is pretty long and tortuous.

I had my schooling in rural Andhra Pradesh and I had been the topper in every class.So, I used to carry an aura of superiority along. It was after my class 12th and after joining engineering I realised how good I was.
I studied in my mother tongue and consequently struggled to speak or write english during my engineering.That hurt my ego and I made it a point to learn the language. Believe me, I could harldy frame a sentence!!

I spent my first two years of engg reading,reading,reading. I read fiction,non-fiction,biographies and what not.It is in my 3rd year I came to know about CAT when one of my seniors got a call from IIM Calcutta. I knew that technology was not my cup of tea and the idea of management education looked attractive.I used to be very busy with collge level extra currics and university level competitions. It was during my final year when most of my classmates taking their GRE, I started preparing for CAT and I applied only to IIMs.

My first ever CAT.
It was 6 years back I took my first CAT and I did well. I received 5 calls A,B,C,L and K. With the arrogance of a fresher I attended only A,B and C. Failed to convert any of them for whatver reasons.

After that family conditions forced me to take up a job and I wanted to join something related to management. I could get a job with one Software dealer and I stayed there for almost 2 years.This job had taught me a lot.
Later I worked with Hewlett Packard, Wipro and ultimately settled with Sonata Software in the capacity of Asst Manager.

I took CAT in 2003, joined TIME and had done well in mocks etc.
Had done reasonably well in the leaked paper but the retest proved to be tough as I screwed up DI.
I ended up scoring 97ptile over all with a paltry 64 in DI.I could score 97 in quant and 98 in VA.
I knew that I could crack this exam hence took it once again in 2004.Again, the same DI proved to be my nemesis.
CAT 2004:VA-99,QA-95 and DI--24

It took lot of time for me recover. I decided never to write CAT again.So, I didnt even bother to know anything about CAT 2005.

During all these years there is one person who believed in me more than I believed in myself. It is none other than my girlfriend and now my wife.She asked me why shouldnt I write it one more time.I would admit frankly that it was because of her that I applied to CAT 2006.But, I hardly prepared.My fiance was working in Hyderabad and I used to go to Hyd every weekend.If on any weekend I am not going to Hyd, then I used to sit for a Mock.My prep was more or like a brushing up process rather than a serious prep.Just 15 days before 19th Nov 2006, I had to travel on an official trip and returned only that Tuesday,14th Nov 2006.I revised all the basics and went to the exam with a feeling that I dont deserve to do well.

19th Nov 2006:
I laughed when I saw the paper.I looked at all the questions and decided that I would attempt all.I finished the 25 VA questions in 40 mins.
Then started with QA and answered 15 questions in another 40 mins. I got stuck with that luggage question for some 10-15 mins.Attempted 3 DI sets in the next 45 mins.I was left with some 15-20 mins in the end.What did I do??
I sat idle, yes I sat idle for 15-20 mins in CAT 2006.I know it sounds crazy but I did.In most of the mocks I used to attempt more than 100 questions and end up with lot of mistakes. So, I thought that 15 questions each in QA and DI were safe enough to clear the cutoff and anyway I would score well in VA.I came out of the exam hall and called up my fiancee,told her that I would get all 6 calls. But, I was shocked when I came back and checked the key for QA and DI.I made 3 silly mistakes each in QA and DI.I didnt bother to check VA as I was damn sure that I would cross any cutoff.

Results day 2nd Jan:
IIMK has comeout with the score sheet. I saw my over all score first which read 99.71 and I thought I would get all 6 calls. Then I saw the break up.
DI -- 95.22
QA-- 94.5
VA -- 99.99
D'oh!! I paid price for not maximising my scores in QA and DI.
Subsequently I received calls from IIM C,L,I and K.

By this time my parents have fixed my marriage date. It was on 24th Feb and I protested saying that I wouldnt be able to focus on GD/PIs.But,as expected my parents didnt budge as that was supposedly the most auspicious date for both my fiancee and me.


This time I prepared well for my interviews. Attended TIME GD/PI sessions and that really helped.Made lot of friedns also.

My GD/PI Schedule:
6th Feb: IIMK -- GD was ok but the PI was not that good as they grilled me on academics.
13th Feb: IIM I -- good GD and good PI.I was sure that I would be in.
14th Feb: IIML -- above avg GD and sub 10 min PI. I was really annoyed by the way they conducted the PI.Never thought I would be through.

The D-day in life:

After my IIML i/v I left for my marriage and the next 3 weeks I was busy with lot of marriage rituals. My family is ultra orthodox and they wanted me to follow the tradition atleast in this regard as I choose the bride myself.

I returned to Bangalore on 6th March and my IIM Cal i/v was on 13th March.I had to start everything again. I spoke to my mentor and he conducted a mock i/v for me over phone. It went on for 1 hr and it made lot of difference.

13th March 2007: IIM Cal GD/PI

The GD was good as I could make points well and contributed to the progress of the group.
The i/v was chilled as they asked me why I want to do MBA after almost 6 years of work experience. This was expected and I had a ready made, well polisehd answer ready. The i/v went on for some 10-12 mins and I came out with lot of relief.

Final Result:

The wait for the final result is full of drama. First the stay of SC, then the directive by the MHRD and then delay of the results. These things affected me a lot. I was not able to focus on my work, my wife used to complain that I was always preoccupied.

What do I say about PG. I think I am one of the very old memebers around and I know PG for last 4 years.During the GD/PIs and during the wait for the final results it is PG that was my lifeblood.The comraderie shown by the junta, the instant updates, results frozen thread, the discussions, contingency plans....I would say PG is a critical enabler in my CAT success story.
Some 10 days before the final result I resigned to my job because I couldnt do any justice to it.So,the wait has been very very painful and the result couldnt have been any better.

After the MHRD gave clearence to the IIMs, I could hardly sleep. I was refreshing PG and IIMC website the whole night. I slept off around 3 am and woke up again around 6 am. No result yet.
Came to office and was doing the samething again. Had my luch and came to office again. I think it was somewhere around 1;30 or 2:00 PM that I opened IIMC website and saw the same old page. I pressed F5 relucantly. Bingo, I see the link reading " PGDM/PGDCM final offers".
I clicked on the link and suddenly I forgot my CAT reg no. Then sat down for a min and tried remembering the no.Finally afte some 2-3 mins of raking up my brains I recollected it.
Entered the details and saw a message saying "Congratulations"........thatz all I didnt check anything else.Collapsed in my chair and my mind went blank for a while. Sat there for some 5 mins and then called up my wife and parents to tell them about it. Later I checked other IIM site and I converted IIML,IIMI and waitlisted at IIMK. No rejects

My CAT jounery has lasted for 6 years and I had gone through everything possible.Many people remarked "how many times do you write that bloody exam?". But, I knew that I could crack this exam and finally I did it.

I know that this is just a small step towards my career goal and entering an IIM doesnt change one into a super achiever. But, I am confident that I can do well there and the coming 2 years would really help me achieving whatever I want to achieve in my life.


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Events in CAT